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January 02, 2011

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Danube of Thought

It used to be called "jealousy." It was said to mock the meat it doth feed upon, or something like that. Very stressful when something's mocking you and eating you at the same time.

Danube of Thought

Michael Barone has some pretty sensible things to say about all this. Excerpt:

...as George Mason University economist Tyler Cowen writes in the American Interest, "The inequality of personal well-being is sharply down over the past hundred years and perhaps over the past twenty years as well." Bill Gates may have a bigger house than you do. But you have about the same access to good food, medical care and even to the Internet as he does.

Or consider something as prosaic as food. The supermarkets of the 1960s and 1970s didn't come close to matching the amazing selection of produce, meats and exotic foods as you find in supermarkets today -- and not just in high-income neighborhoods but in modest-income places all over the country.


Rob Crawford

Among rich countries, those that are more unequal appear to have more mental illness, infant mortality, obesity, high school dropouts, teenage births, homicides, and so on.

Maybe it's not the inequality that leads to these results, but the habits that lead to poverty in an otherwise "rich" country?

jimmyk

It's also worth pointing out that Japan and Germany's per capita income is about 75 percent that of the US. So before we start emulating them, perhaps we should try to figure out what that difference is attributable to.

narciso

It's like the brain parasites in Futurama, Harvard and Cairo University, and I think a Rhodes Scholar, and not a lick of sense

Sue

Kristof, the same person who had breakfast with Wilson and Plame, but Plame contributed nothing. Or so he wants us to believe.

jimmyk

Related to Barone's point is that in addition to paying the lion's share of taxes, higher income people do the lion's share of saving--that is, they provide the funds for investment and capital accumulation that create jobs.

Jack is Back!

Forrest Gump was unavailable for comment but issued a statement through his spokesman:

"Stupid is as stupid does"

And that Ladies and Gentleman is a wrap!

MayBee

How does India fit into this theory?

Needcash2011

Jack Bauer,Ed's brother,predicted many things that have happened and he made just like O and all that foreign cash.Its just and understandable,its really not Jack's fault......

Neo
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Itemize your tax deductions? Itching for a refund? You're going to have to wait.

The IRS said that it needs until mid- to late-February to reprogram its processing systems because Congress acted so late this year cleaning up the tax code. The bill, which includes deductions for state and local sales taxes, college tuition and teacher expenses, wasn't signed into law until Dec. 17.
...
Though itemizers can work on their tax returns before the IRS is ready to accept them, the government said people should not send them in before it is ready to process the returns.

OMG !!

MayBee

Hmm. Rather than using income inequality as a proxy for social inequality (and its resulting stress), maybe we should imagine that cultural homogeneity reduces stress and cultural diversity increases it.

I think that in many Asian (and Indian?) cultures, it is simply more accepted that you work for what you get.
We have some element to our culture where people who are on the lower end believe that someone else has kept them from getting what they should have. That adds stress.

Rick Ballard

"How does India fit into this theory?"

MayBee,

Let's try Idaho first. Family income and per capita income in Idaho are very close to Louisiana but the 'afflictions of inequality' are measurably lower.

Maybe it's the water?

Janet

Nick just needs to meet some poor American & start living his belief system. Equal things out Nick....give up some of your cash to a poorer stranger. Do it.
You can be a light to the rest of us. We'll see how it works out & then maybe we'll follow your lead.
Nobody is stopping Nick. Why doesn't HE DO IT.

MayBee

Good point, Rick. Must be the water.

glasater

This subject of income inequality has been studied almost to death.

narciso

This is how a Kristof, Krugman, or Dowd piece makes me feel, in the LUN

Elliott

How should the US go about emulating Krisof's Axis of Equality? I'm hoping the signing of an unconditional surrender isn't an indispensable step in the process.

Specter

Way too funny narcisco....

narciso

There was once a time, I thought Kristof had
a clue, around 1993, than it passed, in the LUN, another reality some can't seem to get around.

Porchlight

The supermarkets of the 1960s and 1970s didn't come close to matching the amazing selection of produce, meats and exotic foods as you find in supermarkets today -- and not just in high-income neighborhoods but in modest-income places all over the country.

DoT,

Thanks for that Barone excerpt.

In addition to the increase in selection, it seems to me that food must be much less expensive now than it once was (which in itself would go a long way toward explaining the obesity problem). I'm a collector of vintage stuff, and it's clear that food must have cost more because plates and glassware (nearly all kitchen implements in fact) were so much smaller. Juice glasses from earlier decades are a case in point - tiny. Because juice was too expensive to drink in great quantities - I'm guessing.

Am I right?

Danube of Thought

It's always a comfort to reflect on the fact that the Sun King himself couldn't get a DVD player, an MRI or a Chevy pickup. And his entire fortune could not have got William Randolph Hearst an iPod.

PaulY

Porchlight, when I was young 6 oz cokes & pepsis were 5 cents. The price was same when bottles grew to 8, 10, 12 and finally 16 ounces. Inflation was in size of portion, not costs. I was ill prepared for Carter presidency.

Janet

On the repeal of Obamacare...I love this idea from an Instapundit reader -

"Reader Ben Ellington writes: “Before the Obamacare appeal, wouldn’t it make more sense for Congress to abolish the exemptions? Make all the unions live with what they gave the rest of us. And THEN ask for a repeal of the law.” Heh."

No exemptions at all...Amish, Muslim, unions, congress...

Danube of Thought

Problem is that Obama would veto the law abolishing them. But it might be good theatre to make him do it.

Extraneus

Germany and Japan seem to have a lot in common, don't they?

Jim Rhoads a/k/a vjnjagvet

Pepsi started it:

Twice as much for a nickel too
Pepsi-Cola is the drink for you.

Coke eventually followed suit, and 12 ounce bottles and cans became the standard in vending machines.

jimmyk

I'm sure this has been asked and answered, but how does the Constitution permit passing a law that allows arbitrary exemptions based on the whims of the President? Wouldn't the 14th Amendment come into play here?

larry

Pepsi Cola hits the spot. 10?/12? full ounces, that's a lot.

larry

Arbitrary? Whims? Get that man's papers!

Jim Rhoads a/k/a vjnjagvet

It was 12, larry. Coke's standard bottle was 6 oz. Pepsi doubled it starting the supersizing craze over 60 years ago.

Janet

Speaking of Equality, A True Soul Food -

We're in the process of putting in a new kitchen. We live in a "historic" neighborhood & have to get permission to do things to the outside of our home, but not the inside....what we DO get, is a tax write-off for the interior renovation.
It strikes me as unfair that we could write-off our kitchen renovation while some family a few blocks over in a 50's brick rambler couldn't. The paperwork is really complicated too.
Our tax laws seem very unfair with too many loopholes & exemptions that a regular Joe wouldn't know about or qualify for.

Sara (Pal2Pal)

Porchlight: My Mom was a Californian transplanted to Pennsylvania after she graduated from college and, in her words, got stuck there for 30 years. I remember as a young child the first time my Mother found avocados in our hometown grocery store. They were about $8 a piece, same with artichokes. My Grandfather, who still lived in Berkeley, would send crates of oranges and lemons for Christmas presents and once in awhile we would get a lug of avocados he'd picked off his own trees. OTH, we had all the apples, peaches and garden grown tomatoes, peas, beans, squash, and rhubarb you could ever want and Summer/Fall canning took us through the Winter. Apple juice was plentiful, but I don't recall drinking too much orange juice. I do remember how tiny the juice glasses were.

During the Depression and War years, my parents, grandparents and aunt/uncle would go together and buy 100 bags of flour, sugar, or other dry goods such as sacks of beans and then split them 3 ways. This went on for years. Meats and cheeses were another story. My Dad would go to the butcher nearly every day for fresh meat and cheese, more, I think because home refrigerators didn't have freezers and there was no way to keep things for long periods other than a root cellar or canning.

I also remember the very first TV dinners, something my Dad thought was atrocious, but my Mother thought were a terrific invention for the busy working wife. And since things like bread goods and milk were delivered to the door, there wasn't a big need back then for mega-size grocery stores.

Sara (Pal2Pal)

100 lb bags of...

larry

I'm sure you're right, Jim. It was hard to write it tho.

larry

Sara-home refrigerators didn't have freezers
My Gramma's refrigerator wasn't a refrigerator, but an ice box. I remember her having a block of ice delivered. IIRC, it went in the top compartment, so the cold convected to the food below. I see it in my mind's eye, so we're talking ~1945ish.

MarkO

Income equality. I say, let Kristof go first. We'll watch to see if anyone benefits.

Has he gone yet?

narciso

Look at this fellow's swelled head in the profile, in the LUN

maryrose

I remember calling our refrigerator an icebox for years. My dad had his ice delivered to his house when he was growing up. I recall getting milk delivered to our house in those little bottles in a a milk container. You would put out the empties and voila fresh milk. It always tasted so good.
Kristof's article is just another take on Obama"s "Let's spread the wealth around." Voters didn't buy it then and we're not accepting it now.My dad raised 7 jids on a railroad engineer's salary.Time to pull yourselves up by the bootstraps.

maryrose

Sorry,that would be kids.

Sara (Pal2Pal)

Larry: I remember the old Oak ice boxes. We had one that sat on the back porch of our Summer cottage when I was little and then one day it showed up in my Aunt's family room, converted to a wine cabinet. It had already been replaced as the usable ice box at the Cottage by the time I was born, but apparently it and the natural Artesian well in the Spring House were the main sources to keep things cold. By the time I was old enough to be aware, the well was only used to keep the beer and soda cold.

tommy mc donnell

if people weren't poor they wouldn't act the way they do. i wonder if these people ever considered that people are poor because of the way they behave.

a

An obvious solution to this epidemic is to stop talking about inequality. Someone tell Kristof - he's making people sick!

Boatbuilder

Income equality. Does it bother anybody that Bill Gates makes some multiple of what Tom Brady, Tiger Woods, LeBron James and George Clooney put toether make? Seems horribly unfair to me.
Not only that, but Tom Brady makes at least 25 times what his back-up makes. If I cared, I'm sure that I would be less stressed if they made the same amount.
It really wouldn't bother me at all if I made twice as much as I make Today, and all the folks referenced above made 3 times as much as they now make. I suspect that it would not bother any of the folks who Kristof purports to feel sorry for if they were similarly benefitted and the rich got richer. Income inequality doesn't cause stress--poverty, illness, crime, etc. cause stress, and also lead to poverty. The way to improve the lot of all is to create more wealth. Spreading it around doesn't really seem to work, unfortunately.

Extraneus

It wasn't that long ago when any poor kid could join the military and never be poor again after that day. I think the services are more selective now, but it's still a great ticket out of poverty. (As if there were really abject poverty in this country anymore.)

Sara (Pal2Pal)

Interesting analysis by Megan Fox:

Top 10 Reasons to Hate Sarah Palin

I like her conclusion:

Whatever the reasons, it’s a certainty that no other woman has ever been hated as much as Sarah Palin in modern history. Her remarkable ability to rise above it and even laugh at it is a lesson we could all use and more than enough proof to me that she has what it takes to stare down opposition and any challenge you can throw at her. I’ve always been a fan, but the more I get to know her, the more certain I am that Sarah is the next best thing since Ronald Reagan. Her uncanny ability to make leftists writhe with anger and hatred (and dare I say fear) warms my insides. I could definitely stand to see her do that to them for eight years from the inside of the White House. Here’s to hoping the Oval Office gets a new rug soon (a bear rug.)
Janet

Look at this fellow's swelled head in the profile, in the LUN

Narciso, I thought that was gonna lead to a picture of Big Head Jim Webb! Hah!

PD

Thank you, Jay Cutler.

sbw

As Share of Disposable Income, Food Is Still Cheap

sbw

CARPE DIEM: Over 100 Years, Food Prices Have FALLEN By 82%

squaredance

It is slightly frightening this complete bombardment of the electorate with this stuff the last quarter. It seems to be getting even loader now. It is coming from all corners, blaring in all media and running day and night.

They will win something out of all this.

Already they seem to have won a few things:

1) A redefinition of what constitutes the "middle classes" and, more importantly, what does not. Now, 250K a year is "the Rich". Union workers are "the middle class". Once upon a time, Middle class meant pretty much you were in business for yourself, though of course there were some mid level corp. execs too (the senior execs were in The Upper Classes or the Upper Middle Class). So they have completely redefined away the middle class.

2) They have given themselves cover in their the latest round of attacking "the plutocracy" for their final assault on the middle class. They sucked dry "The Rich" that last time they looted the nation, and they can tax them little more. "Tax the Rich" is cover for "Tax the Middle Class".


3) They have managed to give this "special justice" and "economic inequality" at least some manner of political (and moral) legitimacy that heretofore it has not had, and in the process stripped it of at least some of its Marxist taint. They have given some legitimacy to the notions that a) it is a zero sum affair, that somehow "the rich" have stolen that money from the middle classes, b) that there is some sort of "Crisis" about this, and c) That it is not only OK but a moral imperative to :steal that money back.

4) Related to the above, they have managed to cover up the fact that the "growing income inequality" is due to their assault on the middle class, and liberty, property rights and capitalism in general.

5) They have deflected the public away from the actual elites here. If there is a "plutocracy", an absurd claim today the very language of which embarrasses, it would be the upper end of the Establishment left Nomenkaltura and the Trusties out in their foundations and NGO's, and in the ranks of the Democrat Party. They somehow what to believe that there is this cabal of "Robber barons". Pray, just who are these "robber barons"? What are their names?

They are trying to recreate the 1930's. IT would be comic if they had not been as successful at it as they have so far. They are using almost the exact same propaganda as they did make then, only slight more marinated in the NEW LEFT rhetoric of 70'S AND 60's. It is just amazing that they are getting away with this rhetoric (not to mention their "policies")

What is really sad is that they get away with this "growing inequality" lie. Of course when you look at a period where some of the New Deal era taxes (and their later accretions) are to a degree rolled back, you will have more high earners keeping more of their money. Their figures about income are crying out for some serious fisking.

BTW, The Latest The American Interest has some just truly outrageous and blantant Marxist propaganda and Democrat electioneering nonsense in it, and some equally outrageous revisionist history permeates it. Barrone makes his points but he does not begin to address the intellectual dishonesty of most of the "approaches" in this issue. It appears to thus far has been mostly unchallenged.

Little by little, they control the discussion by their "framing" and corruption of language, rhetoric and thought. I am afraid we have not heard the last of this stuff.

It is getting more than a little scary.

matt

when Kristof starts out by talking about the high rates of violent crime, and the FBI statistics recently released show a 20 trend downwards in said violent crime, it sort of blows his theory right out of the water right then and right there. Pity....

I'm sure there are lessons to be learned from the rise of the Oligarchy, but damned if the blue clowns get it.

Public unions, Wall Street insiders, inside traders such as Rattner; tax cheats such as Geithner in leadership positions, lobbyists, grifters, con men, hooligans, snake oil salesmen such as Gore and Edwards and Spectre...yes, there are many, many lessons to be learned....

You can lead a whore to culture, but you can't make him think.....

narciso

I should have put that quotes, Webb kind of strikes me as square headed, and they have always given him a forum, no matter how ridiculous or outrageous he acts, Janet.

Extraneus

they have managed to cover up the fact that the "growing income inequality" is due to their assault on the middle class, and liberty, property rights and capitalism in general.

Not to mention the open border: guaranteed perpetually growing income inequality.

Sara (Pal2Pal)

Matt: I read somewhere last week that the illegitimate pregnancy rate is the lowest since the 1940s, which also seems to blow the premise.

Rick Ballard

VDH provides the counterpoint to the prog pimple. I'm betting that the Tea Party is going to keep a blow torch on the very reluctant feet of the Republican oligarchs.

The mewling of the NYT propagandists isn't going to stop any more than the progs language theft is going to stop but the dearth of OPM is bringing the nightmare to a grinding halt and there's not a damned thing the dimwits can do about it.

Danube of Thought

"Now, 250K a year is 'the Rich.'"

They can't keep that nonsense up for long. People are waking up to the fact that a married couple, both of whom are unionized public employees, are very likely to be "rich," particularly if you account for their pensions and benefits.

Most people sense that whatever it means to be rich, you shouldn't be able to get there wholly at taxpayer expense.

clarice

I really really hope you don't get a brain hemmorrhage,TM. I suppose going to cocktail parties in Ct you have to read dimwits like Kristoff so you know what your fellow guests are blathering on about ,but I don't and I find not reading any of that carp and any fancy sociology reports and Sullivan and Ezra Klein and Kos and --well I could go on but why bother?--is really good for my peace of mind. These people are so stupid anyone who is dumb enough to fall for this stuff deserves to be Bernie Madoff'ed or something or written off further conversations.of

Army of Davids

I have 3 college professors in my immediate family (mother, father, sister).

I can say without any reservations that most of the time you are better off just using your own common sense (and real life experience) than putting the views of academics up on a pedestal.

They quite often possess the capacity to be eloquently stuck on stupid. I see no place this is more true than at Ivy League schools and Cal-Berkley.

Melinda Romanoff

Everytime I read someone posit a "redistributive solution" to income inequality my knee jerk reaction is to want to say out loud "Well then, you won't mind it one bit when we start with all of yours".

I've not caught myself, and it has come out, once or twice.

Lots of "ums" and "ers". Oh, and squirming, there was definitely squirming.

Extraneus

Too bad Joe the Plumber didn't respond: "So why don't you redistribute your wealth then?"

narciso

I suspect, Clarice, that Madoff got his idea for a scam, from them, recall that a whole host of left organizations had their funding
from clients of his

Jane the hostage taker

What do you guys think about raising the debt ceiling? My strong inclination is to say "pound sand" - I was talking to someone tonite who said it we don't, the European rioting in the streets will look tame in comparison. (My next thought was "bring it on".) I assume it will go on for a week and finally we will see some cuts.

But I'm no economist.

narciso

Now this seems like an attempt to gin up 'Tailhook 2' in the LUN, specially considering
this fellow, had been around for the first one, doesn't seem terribly smart

Extraneus

U.S. Navy to Probe Lewd Videos Shown to Carrier Crew

NORFOLK, Virginia – The Navy said Sunday it will investigate "clearly inappropriate" videos broadcast to the crew of a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier in which a top officer of the ship used gay slurs, mimicked masturbation and opened the shower curtain on women pretending to bathe together.

The star of the videos, made in 2006 and 2007, is a former Top Gun pilot who now commands the same ship, the Norfolk-based USS Enterprise, which was deployed in the Middle East at the time and is weeks from deploying again.

Extraneus

Narciso's quick on the trigger.

As for the debt ceiling, all I can think of is how big of an emergency it was to pass TARP, and then how essential it was to confirm Geithner, nevermind that we'd probably have almost 10% unemployment by now if we didn't pass the stimulus bill.

A lot of these same boys have cried wolf already, multiple times.

Minimalist Poster

Why not begin by redistributing wealth in professional sports? All players are paid at the same rate. Endorsements go into a pool that's split among all the players. How about something similar for Hollywood & the music industry? For Hollywood,I'll even let them try a slightly different approach to differentiate between lead parts and minor parts. The same hourly rate. Maybe a somewhat higher rate for speaking parts . . .

clarice

You can always remind redistributionists that the US treasury is always willing to accept voluntary contributions.

Ignatz

I'm sure this has been mentioned upthread but haven't much time to read; isn't it just possible, maybe even likely, that mental illness, teenage pregnancy, sloth, violent crime, etc tend to trap one in low wage or no wage jobs and soul sapping lives and that such behaviors also lead to pathlogies like heart disease, suicide etc?

Danube of Thought

Narc and Ext, that story is as stunning and depressing as anything I can ever recall reading about the USN. Consider the implications:

(1) We have ten carriers in our fleet. An absolute moron was given command of one of them.

(2) He was identified as a moron--and perhaps an unstable one--in 2006, before he was given the command.

(3) It is certain that his behavior was known to senior commanders at the flag level, but instead of having him relieved of his duties as XO they not only swept it under the rug they kept him right on track for command.

I want to see a lot of heads roll, including those of every single flag officer (and the previous CO) who knew of this and did nothing.

Extraneus

Private industries might be tough to regulate like that, at first. How about we start with government employment? Every federal employee gets the same salary, same as an Army private, regardless of job. Of all people, they'll surely see the fairness of this.

narciso

So we always wondered where Pete Mitchell ended up, now we know, and his boss, then Captn. Rice, now at US Forces Command, was none too swift. Didn't ten years of JAG teach them anything.

PD

nevermind that we'd probably have almost 10% unemployment by now if we didn't pass the stimulus bill.

Actually, the stimulus was the thing that was supposed to keep unemployment from reaching *eight* percent.

Worked a treat, didn't it?

PaulY

is following the penumbra of DADT passed by Dem Congress and signed in law by WJC a defense?

chip

"Germany and Japan have attained modern, efficient economies with far less inequality than we have"

Japan has an efficient economy? As a former bureau chief in Tokyo you would think Kristof would know that Japan today borrows more than it receives in taxation, and that it's debt-to-GDP ratio is now an eye-popping 200%.

And you might want to ask a German today how he feels about the redistribution of his wealth around Europe.

narciso

Not surprising he got that wrong, in the LUN,
Fallows spectacularly missed it, where's T.R.
Reid, for the trifecta (a big Obamacare supporter)

rse

Well said DOT.

Happy New Year everyone.

Porchlight

Matt: I read somewhere last week that the illegitimate pregnancy rate is the lowest since the 1940s, which also seems to blow the premise.

Sorry, but that can't possibly be true, since the percentage of out-of-wedlock births has recently hit 40%, an all-time high.

Danube of Thought

So we always wondered where Pete Mitchell ended up, now we know, and his boss, then Captn. Rice, now at US Forces Command, was none too swift.

What does Pete Mitchell have to do with any of this?

narciso

I was right about my recollection of Reid, one of the few that got the Japan story right, was Bill Emmott of the Economist

Army of Davids

I agree Janet,

Make the unions live with it too. LOL.

Sara (Pal2Pal)

US teen birth rate at all-time low, economy cited

ATLANTA The U.S. teen birth rate in 2009 fell to its lowest point in almost 70 years of record-keeping - a decline that stunned experts who believe it's partly due to the recession.

The birth rate for teenagers fell to 39 births per 1,000 girls, ages 15 through 19, according to a government report released Tuesday. It was a 6 percent decline from the previous year, and the lowest since health officials started tracking the rate in 1940.

Experts say the recent recession - from December 2007 to June 2009 - was a major factor driving down births overall, and there's good reason to think it affected would-be teen mothers.

"I'm not suggesting that teens are examining futures of 401(k)s or how the market is doing," said Sarah Brown, chief executive of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.

"But I think they are living in families that experience that stress. They are living next door to families that lost their jobs. ... The recession has touched us all," Brown said.

Teenage moms, who account for about 10 percent of the nation's births, are not unique. The total number of births also has been dropping, as have birth rates among all women except those 40 and older.

bgates

DOT - Pete Mitchell was the name of the Tom Cruise character in "Top Gun".

I had to look it up. (By which I mean, I want everyone to know that I don't know the names of any of the characters in "Top Gun".)

Porchlight

Sara,

Okay, thanks, but that's teen births, not the illegitimate pregnancy rate. Still, good news as far as it goes.

fp3690

This is ridiculous.

Income inequality is a very good proxy for social inequality, as life expectancy, good health, literacy, proper body mass index, chances of a stable family life, chances of avoiding teenage pregnancies and basically anything that can contribute to whatever social inequality is, are very highly correlated with income.

The argument about racial homogeneity is equally ludicrous. Just consider Canada...

Army of Davids

Jane the ht,

On the debt ceiling.

I would prefer a debt ceiling compromise for the next year budget deficit at 2.5% of GDP with a goal of 1.0% for the next budget year.

Paul Ryan should be the guy to look to on this. I've listened to many a Q and A from the guy grilling Greenspan/Bernanke for years now. He knows his stuff.

Political capital is best targeted towards ObamaCare IMHO. Gingrich vs Clinton leaves lessons. And a government shut-down puts political capital at risk that will be needed for future battles.

Long term .5% to 1% deficits but with serious long term entitlement reform is the best path from a fiscal standpoint. Rolling back rights to the states and the individual would also likely pay economic growth dividends that are being held back by Eurosclerotic philosophies. And political capital will be needed for that too.

narciso

I was using a shorthand for a character type, another Top Gunner in the News, is Admiral Willard, he was the one that had to listen
to Hank Johnson, ramble incoherently about Guam 'tipping over' as CINCPAC.

Sara (Pal2Pal)

Porch: Although I think "teen pregnancy" is a euphemism, I did misremember the story.

Jane the hostage taker

Thanks Army,

I'd be happy to turn the entire US government over to Paul Ryan. I'm not so interested in the political consequences right now as the economic ones.

Pagar

Apparently the voter's in Hank Johnson's district aren't too worried about how much danger Guam is in, since they reelected him.
Amazing!

Melinda Romanoff

Jane-

Not raising the debt ceiling would have the effect of cutting off cash for government operations, especially troops.

Think stand-off, a la Gingrich v. Clinton, with boots on the ground.

Ryan, I hope, has a road map around this.

It's the weekly demand for cash, via the T-Bill auctions, that throws a wrench in it.

Not so easy.

Ignatz

--life expectancy, good health, literacy, proper body mass index, chances of a stable family life, chances of avoiding teenage pregnancies and basically anything that can contribute to whatever social inequality is, are very highly correlated with income--

Of course they are; the large majority of things which cause "social inequality" cause low income.
It is the pervasive and destructive conceit of the left that poverty is a consequence of social inequities rather than, usually, their cause.

boris

"... are very highly correlated with income"

So is IQ. Therefore the most direct way to make everybody smarter is to pay them more money!

 Ann

OT, kinda

I believe JIB recommended "Restrepo" and I second the recommendation. I gave it to my husband for Christmas and we watched it on New Year's Eve.

If you want to know what it is like on the front line in Afghanistan you should watch it. I wish we could have an entire thread discussing it. I have so many misgivings and yet so much pride for our soldiers that it is hard to articulate my feelings.

In the end the US withdrew from the conflict which I still can't get my head or heart around. The Sergeant in charge blames the former Sergeant for the problems to the Taliban? elders; which I wish someone would explain to me.

Anyways, thought provoking and worth your time. God Bless Soylent.

clarice

boris, irrefutable and brilliant as usual.

clarice

Reminds me of another observation (I can't remember by whom) that student math scores are highest the father north in latitude one lives in this country.

Of course, that means, he said, to improve national math scores just move the low scorers north.

Danube of Thought

I looked it up too, bgates, but still didn't (and don't) get the connection. Hundreds if not thousands of guys have gone through the Top Gun program.

Porchlight

Although I think "teen pregnancy" is a euphemism

Sara,

I think in the past, maybe so. These days, I know many moms in their 30s and even 40s, most of whom are college educated, who never married. Perhaps unsurprisingly, none of them are still with the fathers of their children and most are single moms without child support (since in cases where there was never a marriage, there's not much likelihood of a court-mandated arrangement).

MarkO

The use of Pete Mitchell as one of a type is known in rhetoric as antonomasia or, possibly, synecdoche. These are some of the many words I had to learn from William F. Buckley. These came about because referred to someone as “this Pat Boone,” which drew a cease and desist letter from counsel for the white-shoed singer (who should have wanted any publicity he could get). Actually, calling Bush a Hitler is an example of the same device, although extremely more unpleasant and far more incorrect.
Although, I am distressed to report that from my small crowd I do not hear anything like, “He’s a Brad Pitt.” (Unless, “He’s a bad pit” counts.)

MarkO

*he* referred

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Wilson/Plame